If you’re a new parent, there’s a good chance your new favorite catchphrase is, “Am I doing this right?”
From feeding to changing diapers to bathing, there are a lot of new skills to master when it comes to being a new parent, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it all feels a little overwhelming.
However, the sooner you master the do’s and don’t of baby care, the more you’ll be able to relax and enjoy those precious early moments of parenthood.
And one such skill that is very important to master early on is burping a baby.
Those cute little belches aren’t just for show. They serve an important purpose for your baby’s overall well-being.
When air gets trapped inside your baby’s stomach, it can cause a feeling of fullness or discomfort. Burping a baby helps release this trapped air, and it also helps free up space in their tummy for longer feeding time.
While burping a baby may seem like a straightforward process, just like many other aspects of parenting, it can be a lot harder than it looks.
Read the following article to learn the top five tricks to becoming a baby burping master.
1. Find the Perfect Position
First things first, it’s time to do a little baby feng shui.
That is, find the preferable position for burping a baby.
While you’re probably used to seeing photos of parents burping their babies by holding them over their shoulder, this isn’t the only way to get the job done.
Let’s take a look at a few positions you might want to try out:
Over the shoulder: Hold your baby over your shoulder and facing you, using one hand to hold the baby and the other to burp.
Face down on your lap: Place your baby on their tummy, with their head on one of your legs and their stomach on the other. Use one hand to support the baby’s head and chest and the other to burp.
Sitting on your lap: Place your baby in a seated position on your lap. Use one arm to support the baby’s chest and head while you use the other one to pat or rub.
Walking: If your baby has good enough head control, you can hold his or her upright and facing out while you stand and walk. One arm should be applying light pressure on the tummy while the other holds the bottom to stabilize. Sometimes, you don’t even need to walk your baby- stretching out the body can be enough to release trapped gas.
You can test out all of these positions until you find which one suits your baby best.
2. The Best Time For Burping a Baby
Ok, now that we’ve covered positioning, let’s talk about timing.
If your baby is being fussy or showing any signs of discomfort while feeding (squirming, pulling away, or crying), it’s probably a good time to try and help them burp.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends burping a baby during feeding breaks and after they’re finished with their meal. A good general rule of thumb for a feeding break is every 2 to 3 ounces if you’re bottle feeding or when you switch breasts if you’re breastfeeding.
3. Choose Your Products Wisely-Starting With the Right Bottle
Got a real gassy baby on your hands?
The right bottle can make all the difference.
As babies sip, air often gets into the nipple. Luckily, there are bottles specifically designed for letting as minimal air in as possible.
Bottles with disposable liners, vents, or straw-like systems are all great solutions for reducing the amount of air that gets in the bottle.
*Note- If you’re a breastfeeder and you’ve got a baby with excess gas, the excess dairy in your diet may be the culprit. Research says it’s best to stick to a healthy diet that focuses on fresh and wholesome foods.
If you’re not a breastfeeder and your baby is still struggling with excess gas, you may want to talk to your pediatrician about investing in some over-the-counter meds to help relieve gas. Gripe water-an herbal based remedy with stomach calming properties, can also sometimes do the trick.
4. Next, The Right Formula
After you’ve chosen the best bottle for burping a baby that money can buy, it’s time to pick the best formula.
You want to pick a formula that is easy for your baby to digest, and for this, European formulas are recommended over American ones.
This is because the E.U. tends to be a lot stricter with its guidelines for infant formulas. They’ve banned sucrose, an ingredient that leads to childhood obesity, as well as carrageenan, an ingredient that leads to digestive problems in babies.
Hipp and Holle are two highly reputable formulas we recommend checking out.
The right bottle and right formula can make all the difference for a healthy burping baby, so make sure to choose these products wisely.
5. Extra Pointers to Keep in Mind
To polish off your baby burping mastery, there are a few extra pro tips to keep in mind.
Always keep a bib or burp cloth between your outfit and the baby’s mouth to protect your clothes. You’ll also want a close in case there’s any spit up.
Also, while some babies just need a gentle pat or rub, others appreciate a slightly firmer hand.
Lastly, make sure to position your hand on the left side of the baby’s back, as this is where the stomach is located.
There you have it- with these tips you’ll be a baby burping extraordinaire in no time!
But, don’t forget to keep in mind that burping a baby is not a one size fits all process.
No matter what you hear through the newborn parenting grapevine, there is no failproof burping method that works for every baby.
Some babies love a pat, while others love a rub. Some babies are burping machines, while others hardly ever let one out.
Surely, though, it won’t be long before you figure out just want kind of burper you have on your hands! And learning about your baby’s preferences is one of the greatest joys of early parenthood!